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Wrecking ball immigration policy

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Daniel Stein is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit organization whose stated goals are to improve border security and halt illegal immigration. He spoke to the Trib regarding the latest developments in the immigration border crisis.

Q: Where does the blame lie for the recent deluge of children at the U.S.-Mexico border?

A: It principally lies with Sen. (Dianne) Feinstein (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden and the Obama administration.

Q: Could you elaborate?

A: Feinstein, in particular, and Joe Biden, because he was the chief Senate sponsor, pushed the Senate language that became law in 2008. While George Bush signed it in the last couple of weeks of his presidency, it was clearly the handiwork of Sen. Feinstein, and it set up an elaborate and unmanageable process for the handling of unaccompanied alien minors.

The administration is responsible because they have embarked on a series of policies in the last six years that led us straight into the bull's-eye of disaster, beginning with the endless importuning for blanket legislative amnesty, a wrecking ball approach to interior immigration law enforcement undermining the Real ID law, deferred action for people brought here when they were young, the so-called prosecutorial discretion-based enforcement priorities.

All of these elements have conspired to create the perfect storm whereby a law ostensibly designed to actually prevent alien trafficking is now, in fact, being used aggressively by those very same cartels.

Q: What do you envision happening next in this protracted drama?

A: We have entered the empire of border anarchy, a brave new world in which this country will have to prove for the first time in Western civilization's history that a nation that can't control its borders can survive.

We have a polarized electorate. We have a committed, very far left, extreme radical wing of the Democratic Party that has decided that the immigration law no longer matters.

They are playing an extremely dangerous game that cannot possibly have a positive outcome to anyone who understands the nature of human migration and the existential threats to this country that now exist in the modern world.

This is some kind of bizarre social experiment being undertaken by rigid and extremist ideologues that have captured the White House. The president and his allies have one objective in mind — destroy the functioning of U.S. immigration and entry controls to make them so unworkable that virtually everybody gets in. Most shocking has been the complicity of the Chamber of Commerce and some elements of the business community with this coalition in trying to push the Senate bill.

You know, respect for property rights, civil order and a stable middle class are important functions of free market capitalism. A doctrine of libertarianism is an interesting idea, but in the context of borders it doesn't make a lot of sense.

So if the Chamber of Commerce believes you are going to maintain free people and free ideas by letting people pour into the country who are so poor they are going to vote for redistribution as a political agenda, then you are sacrificing the long-term interests of even your corporate base — and obviously the country — in favor of some short-term political alliance.

Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media (412-320-7857 or

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